9 Minutes of Mindfulness a Day…

9 minutes of mindfulness a day can help you in so many ways reports the Harvard Business Review. The article is called “Spending 10 Minutes a Day on Mindfulness Subtly Changes the Way You React to Everything,” but don’t chide me for the extra minute. I have been spouting 9 minutes of mindfulness a day now for five years.

The researchers, Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter and Gitte Dybkjaer, say mindfulness is a solution to “unprecedented busyness of modern-day leadership makes them more reactive and less proactive.” Mindfulness training helps these leaders create a one-second pause between stimulus and response which prevents them from making rushed decisions; and, in my humble opinion, this one-second pause keeps them from mentally abusing the people they lead.

Mindfulness eases inflammation and promotes well-being

They write,

Research has found that mindfulness training alters our brains and how we engage with ourselves, others, and our work. When practiced and applied, mindfulness fundamentally alters the operating system of the mind. Through repeated mindfulness practice, brain activity is redirected from ancient, reactionary parts of the brain, including the limbic system, to the newest, rational part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex.

In this way mindfulness practice decreases activity in the parts of the brain responsible for fight-or-flight and knee-jerk reactions while increasing activity in the part of the brain responsible for what’s termed our executive functioning. This part of the brain, and the executive functioning skills it supports, is the control center for our thoughts, words, and actions. It’s the center of logical thought and impulse control. Simply put, relying more on our executive functioning puts us firmly in the driver’s seat of our minds, and by extension our lives.

They offer the following suggestions for becoming more mindful, many of which have already been discussed in these pages and in my meditation group:

  1. Practice 10 minutes of mindfulness training each day. I think that 9 minutes a day is enough.
  2. Avoid reading email first thing in the morning. This falls in line with the teachings on mindful consumption.
  3. Turn off all notifications. Not only that, silence your cell phones when they are not needed.
  4. Stop multitasking. Read Focus On One Thing At A Time.
  5. Put it on your calendar to check in with yourself every two weeks.

To get you started on the right track with mindfulness, please begin 9 Minute Meditation for just 1 ¢!

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